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Bitter leaf is a plant that is grown in Africa and many parts of the world. It is known as Ewuro in Yoruba, Onugbu in Igbo, and Shiwaka in Hausa.
As the name implies, the leaves of this plants are bitter, and that is why a lot of people cannot withstand it. Bitter leaf has a lot of detoxification properties that makes it powerful in helping the body fight against many diseases and infections. It also has antipyretic properties. But if you dare to take it fresh, these are some of the medicinal uses of the bitter leaf.
One of the well-known uses of the bitter leaf is that it is a remedy for stomach ache. You can either chew on the tender part of the plant stem or leaf stalk or swallow the bitterness. Also, you can pound the leaves and squeeze out the juice from the leaves. Put three tablespoons of the juice in a small cup, add a pinch of salt to it and drink it.
The stomach ache will be relieved just in a matter of minutes.
Bitter leaf is used for treating malaria, typhoid fever, and also diarrhea.
It is also good for the blood and lymphatic system. It has strong medicinal properties that help to clear the blood and lymphatic system of impurities. This is achieved by drinking the juice squeezed from fresh bitter leaf occasionally.
It is also helpful in people with hypertension in keeping their blood pressure low.
It is helpful in the management of diabetes. It can be effective in lowering blood glucose level.
It is used as traditional medicine for the remedy of many infections and diseases such as sexually transmitted infections, pneumonia, skin exanthemas such as eczema, ringworm, etc.
Another popular medicinal use of bitter leaf that you can find anywhere is that it is very helpful for people with prostate cancer. It helps to relieve symptoms associated with this disease such as difficult and painful urination known as dysuria. By taking a glass cup of juice from bitter leaf squeezed in water four times in a day. It helps to increase the flow of urine, reduce pain and also regulate and slow down the spread of the neoplastic cells.
It is also a proven remedy for treating insomnia.
Some studies show bitter leaf also helps to boost chances of getting pregnant, i.e., it enhances fertility.
Bitter Leaf and Pregnancy
A major health benefit of bitter leaf is its effects on Fertility . its ability to significantly boost a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Apart from the hormone balancing act , the detoxification work of bitter leaf help prevent the pollution of the antibodies that helps the body fight disease and initiate tissue repair and regeneration. This can significantly boost the fertility of the ovaries and also eliminate ovarian cysts and premature ovarian failure. Bitter leafs are also known to correct abnormal or irregular menstruation which is a sign of anovulation and hormonal imbalance.
Bitter Leaf Anti-Cancer Properties
Bitter leaf is one of the few plants with huge anti-cancer properties, it has been shown to be useful in the management of hydatidiform mole, trophoblastic tumor and lung tumor which was the forerunner of cancer.
Bitter Leaf and High Blood Pressure Control
Another health benefit of bitter leaf plant is its ability to control blood pressure. Bitter leafs have shown very significant effect on blood pressure regulation. In addition the high levels of potassium in plant has been linked to the plants ability to reduce blood pressure, it therefore useful in the management of hypertension
Bitter Leaf and Gastro intestinal Disturbances
For centuries bitter leaf tea benefits have played a key role in resolving conditions related to digestion .Bitter leaf has been used in the management of gastrointestinal disturbance arising from bacterial contamination of food, especially bacillary dysentery caused by Shigella species. In addition, aqueous extract of the leaves have been shown to prevent the growth and proliferation of many microorganism including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
Bitter Leaf Cure For Headaches, Migraine And Flu
Headache is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck and severe headaches increases your risk of depression .The ability of bitter leaf to cure headaches especially tension headache and migraine have been well documented over the years, it has also been shown to be helpful in relieving symptoms associated with cold and catarrh.
Many parts of the bitter leaf plants are useful in the treatment of fever, jaundice, constipation, hiccups, kidney problems, schistosomiasis, cough, wounds, veneral diseases and other bacterial and protozoal infection according to an article in the malaria and chemotherapy control.
Bitter Leaf Side Effects
Individuals that are allergic to bitter leaf can expect allergic reaction anytime they use the plant
Because of its ability to control blood pressure, it can sometimes lead to unwanted heart outcomes, it is important that you discuss with your doctor before using the plant if you have any heart condition.
When it comes to bitter leaf and pregnancy there are no known side effects of bitter leaf at pregnancy. Pregnant women should discuss with their doctors or caregivers before taking bitter leaf juice or extract.
Bitter leaf extract should not be given to infants. Persons with liver or kidney conditions should not use bitter leaf extracts without medical supervision.
How to Use Bitter Leaf
How to use bitter leaf as energy and vitality booster – Squeeze the leaves, fresh or dry in water. Remember to wash in either case before squeezing to get rid of parasites and bacteria. Take a glass 3 times daily.
How to use bitter leaf to treat pneumonia– Squeeze the fresh leaves of bitter leaf in water and warm the concoction to further extract more medicinal components. Take a glass full of the extract thrice daily.
How to use bitter leaf to treat sleeplessness (Insomnia)- Place fresh leaves of bitter leaf plant in a blender and blend adding water as you blend to make juice, alternatively, pound the fresh leaves in a mortar to extract the juice. Take 1-2 glasses of bitter leaf juice at night. Non diabetics can add sweeteners or honey to taste.
How to use bitter leaf to treat gastrointestinal problems – if you have gastrointestinal problems taking extracts and juice of bitter leaf or even chewing and swallowing, the leaves can provide relief. Extracts and juice also soothe swollen joints and eradicates pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.
Bitter leaf is widely available in the tropics and easy to plant and manage. Growing this plant in the family garden is a common practice in West Africa especially Nigeria where it is used to make a variety of concoction, soups, and delicacies.
Let’s eat and live healthy using our natural fruits, roots, and herbs.